The 13th Guinness Belfast City Blues Festival is back and is set to take place over three days in 14 venues with 29 acts and almost 40 gigs.Taking place from June 24-26, the launch saw Lee Hedley Blues Band take to the stage at Kelly’s Cellars in the city recently.
The three-day festival provides a yearly platform for established and up and coming blues artists to showcase their talent and skills to live audiences across each of the bars in Belfast.
Festival director Seamus O’Neill said: “The Guinness Belfast City Blues Festival 2022 is dedicated to the late Belfast Blues Legend Rab McCullough, and is also a tribute to Gregory “Murph The Blues Brother” McGeown and James “Jamesy” Carson, two major volunteers and attendees of the festival in past years.
“Following the 2021 launch of the Guinness Blues Café, a testament to the local talent, the festival has over 50 gigs to follow along the blues trail, including performances from The Rev Doc & The Flying Squad, The Red Hot Roosters, The Sabrejets, Crow Black Chicken, The Pat McManus Band, Sam Davidson’s Taste, The Willie Byrne Band, Symply Skynyrd, LIGHT, The Rev Doc Duo, The Ronnie Greer Band, The Chris Taplin Blues Band, Robin BiBi Band, Tony Villiers & The Villains, Dom Martin & His Band, Mike Wilgar & The Crack Pot Preachers, Backbone Blues Band, Kick The Bucket Blues Band, Frank Carberry Blues Set, Brian McKenna’s Swing Tribute, Davy Watson Solo, Terry Sharpe & Co, Speedy Mullan Blues Band, Ian Sands & The Blues Katz, Taylor Sisk & Co, The Unholy Gospel Band, The Lee Hedley Band, Otis & The Elevators, and The Ronnie Greer Band featuring Anthony Toner.”
The trail will be hitting a variety of local venues, such as Kelly’s Cellars, Black Box, Ramada by Wyndham, Granny Annies, The Deer’s Head, The Ulster Sports Club, The Dirty Onion, St Georges Market, 2 Taps Restaurant, Whites Garden, The John Hewitt, Common Market, 39 Gordon Street and FLAXX… Social Village.
As the past two years have proven difficult for the much-loved festival, Mr O’Neill said: “In 2020 we brought you the Belfast City Blues Festival online and we are so proud to come back this year bigger and better with a fully live line up.
“As we ease out of what has been a challenging few years for our people and for the music industry, the Belfast City Blues Festival team want to pay homage to the artists which play an integral part in making the festival happen.
“In 2021, as we eased out of lockdown, our team could not wait any longer on getting the show back on the road with live music so we put together the Guinness Blues Café at Belfast’s only micro brewery pub in the city centre, The Deer’s Head.
“Due to the success of this we have been able to bring to you this year, along with our amazing sponsors, three days of great music, with great people in a great city.”
The 2022 festival is in support of The People’s Kitchen, a Belfast-based charity that is host to an incredibly active food bank, provides food delivery to those in need, and also supplies clothes and advice to the homeless and families in need.
All profits from the End of Festival Wrap Party (June 26) will be donated to The People’s Kitchen and will see performances from The Robin Bibi Band from London plus special guests.
Sponsors of the festival include Guinness, Sunday World, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast 89FM, Magee Mortgage Solutions, Kolormaster, Baird Sound System Ltd, Linen Quarter BID, West Gourmet Sandwich Bar, Nutts Corner Accident Repair and The People’s Kitchen.
n For more information, festival listings and tickets log onto www.belfastcitybluesfest.com or connect with the Belfast City Blues Festival on social media.
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